Great Yarmouth Horse Racing Open For Business

Great Yarmouth Racecourse
This well-known racecourse is one mile north of Great Yarmouth, belonging to Arena Racing Company. The well-designed track assumes the shape of a narrow four-sided figure that’s about one mile and three-quarters round, with two fairly long straights that measure about five furlongs. It is among Britain’s many left-handed courses, used for flat turf racing events. 

The racecourse hosts some of the most noteworthy sporting events on the British calendar and it is, as a result of its busy schedule, a leading horse racing ground in Britain if not Europe. 

Racing meetings were recorded for the first time in 1715 when a lease was issued by the Yarmouth Corporation to an association of visionary innkeepers for some piece of land where the group could stage local race meetings. Events may well have taken place at Great Yarmouth before the recorded date. Nonetheless, it is generally believed that such activities, if any at all, must have been infrequent involving small groups of individuals from Norfolk.

Sports historians believe horse racing at Great Yarmouth must have been quite intermittent throughout the 18th century. Racing almost certainly coincided with the annual town fair. 

Miscellaneous events such as donkey racing competitions and chasing a swine with a soap-stained tail were staged. In 1810 formal racing began. Records show meetings involving thoroughbred races and ample prize money at Great Yarmouth Racecourse from this date. 

Great Yarmouth Racecourse, on the South Denes, became fully established shortly after. A two-day race meeting was convened in the late summer every year. From 1866 race fixtures increased. The continuous upward trend carried on from decade to decade until the long-established racing facility soared to its current glory as one of the world’s most influential horse riding amenities.


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Racing at Great Yarmouth restarted after a short suspension during the first world war. In 1920, the just reopened racecourse was relocated to the nearby North Denes, as a result of immense pressure from the local fishing industry to extend its structures onto the piece of land on the South Denes. Two grandstands were demolished and shifted to North Denes, where they are presently situated. As such, Great Yarmouth is one of the oldest racing structures in the United Kingdom that have maintained their initial geographical positions to the present day. Great Yarmouth’s enduring fame and stature are a testament to Britain’s long and colorful racing history that stretches over four centuries of enthusiastic horse sporting. 


The local authorities had taken over the running of the racecourse in 1904, and for most of the 20th century, the course profited from the local community, not only by offering entertainment but also because its proceeds helped to maintain their rates at the bare-minimum. Since 2001, they have been the smaller shareholders in a new company formed to manage the distinguished racecourse. A private entity, Arena Racing Company, is the main shareholder. For that time, they have been capable of financing improvements that the Council could not fund, including the building of an extra grandstand. 


The most important event at Great Yarmouth is the John Musker Fillies' Stakes, staged over one mile and a quarter every year in September. Nevertheless, any of the racing events for two-year-olds can be chiefly instructive as some of these juveniles go on to participate in and win highly regarded races. 

During the 1998 competitions, Dubai Millennium won his debut at Yarmouth extraordinarily, ably ridden by Frankie Dettori, prior to becoming one of the most accomplished horses to run for the Godolphin operation, proudly owned by the Dubai royal family. Since then, Great Yarmouth victors included Ouija Board, who further won the English and Irish Oaks before registering impressive, score at the Breeders Cup, the yearly international horse racing championships held in the USA. Wilko, Raven's Pass and Donativum were among the winners at Yarmouth headed for future Breeders Cup glory. 

Visit Great Yarmouth Racecourse Website Here

Contact details: Great Yarmouth, Jellicoe Road, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR30 4AU

Tel: 01493 842527

Email: info@greatyarmouth-racecourse.co.uk 

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